Having a tooth extracted is generally one of the last options your dentist will consider, but if a tooth can no longer function properly, or has decayed severely and cannot be restored, it may be time for the tooth to be removed. Removing a problematic tooth can help prevent damaging surrounding teeth and oral tissue, and can create space for your dentist to effectively restore your smile. Your dentist has quite a few options to offer after tooth extraction.
With your tooth’s root no longer in place, the jawbone surrounding it will gradually lose density and structure. This can cause surrounding teeth to shift and distort the health of your bite. Your dentist can prevent this by performing extraction site preservation. This is typically done by filling the gap with synthetic materials. This will help maintain your jawbone’s density and structure while your mouth heals.
This procedure uses the two teeth on either side of the extraction site, also referred to as abutment teeth, as support for the replacement tooth, or pontic, which will sit where the removed tooth was. The abutment teeth are formed by your dentist to fit dental crowns, which will anchor the pontic. The dental crowns and pontic are all crafted by your dentist using molds of your original teeth to accurately replicate their bite and appearance.
Your dentist inserts a titanium post into the jawbone under the missing tooth. The post fuses to your jawbone as it heals; allowing your replacement tooth to look and work very similarly to the tooth it took the place of.